07.JULY.2012. Valencia City. Thirty-two leaders representing the Council of Evangelical Churches in Bukidnon (CECB), the Valencia City Evangelical Ministers Association, Inc. (VCEMAI), and the Lantapan Inter-Faith Ministerial Association (LIFMA) completed the 3-month Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Training.
The PAR Training was facilitated by PBCI Consulting Team, in partnership with the Peace and Reconciliation Commission of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC). Bishop Tendero, PCEC National Director, commissioned the new graduates to become the Bukidnon PAR Community.
What is a PAR Community? A PAR Community is a group of local leaders—church leaders, local government leaders, non-government organization leaders, or any mix of these—
- who have expressed interest to have a working relationship with us, who have made a commitment to embrace our Peace Theology;
- who have invited us to teach them our PAR Seminar Series;
- who have a vision to work with us in developing a PAR Program needed in their area; and,
- who have organized themselves as PAR catalyst group in their particular province in accordance with our Dreams, Values, and Team organizational standards.
The PAR Community would then be organizing PAR Teams composed of local volunteers from various communities who are trained for 8 months in the following areas: Armed Conflict Area Survival Training, Fact-Finding Missions, Conflict Transformation, Disaster Preparedness, Trauma Healing, Inter-Faith Dialogue, Cross-Cultural Communications, etc. Their mission:
- to promote peace and reconciliation in our land by giving skilled, courageous support to communities experiencing various conflicts
- to inspire various parties-in-conflict to discard violence in favor of nonviolent action as a means of settling differences
- to provide various communities with first-hand information and resources for responding to situations of conflict, and to urge their active involvement
- to interpret a nonviolent perspective to the media and to our nation as a whole.
The PAR Training is composed of three parts:
PART ONE: BASIC COURSE
- Pursuing Peace. This is an in-depth discussion of the differences and similarities in various conceptions of peace. Peace will be discussed from theological, psycho-social, political, and economic-ecological perspectives.
- Understanding Strategic Peacebuilding. Strategic peacebuilding is protracted peacemaking. It is the opposite of protracted warfare. Learn the concepts, processes, and strategies of building peace from a conflicted situation to reconciliation. Get familiarized with various components of peacebuilding and why reconciliation is its main component.
- The Nature of Conflict. Conflict is like a tree. It has leaves and fruits, trunk, and roots. Learn how this analogy crystallizes the various conflicts we’re experiencing—at home, in our communities, in our neighborhoods, in our towns and cities, in our province, in our country and in our world.
- The Process of Conflict Transformation. Conflict grows like cancer. It transforms people and communities. Before you know it, it may have affected the larger system—marriage, family, church, government, business, etc. Learn some practical ways to detect the negative effects of conflict during its early stages.
- The Process of Reconciliation. Is it possible to rebuild positive relationships between antagonists? Does reconciliation really work in the healing of emotional and psychological aspects of the conflict? Hear stories of people who chose to journey from violent conflict towards reconciliation.
PART TWO: SKILLS FOR EVERYONE
- Learning the Art of Conflict Resolution. Get exposed to the various approaches and stages of Conflict Resolution—i.e., informal discussion, negotiation, conciliation, facilitation, mediation, arbitration, litigation, legislation. Find out what works best in certain situations. Experience simulated scenarios where you will be prompted to learn the following: Fact-Finding Skills, Listening Skills, Conflict Mapping Skills, Conflict Energy Management Skills, Resolution Approach Skills
- Asserting Your Rights through Peaceful Negotiation. Learn the art of being assertive without being abrasive or offensive. Sharpen your skills in distinguishing the other parties’ real interests from their officially stated position. Find out the characteristics and qualities of a good negotiator.
- Bridging Conflicting Parties through Mediation. Mediation is the art of facilitated negotiation. It is a process by which a mediator assists disputing parties to collaboratively discuss their concerns through problem-solving. Find out how to assist in documenting mutually acceptable points of agreement the parties may reach. This is a fascinating experience where a mediator, who does not have authoritative decision-making or enforcing power, becomes an effective peacebuilder because of the voluntary, private, and face-to-face participation of the parties-in-conflict.
PART THREE: FOR THE HEALING OF OUR LAND
- Understanding Peace in the Context of Globalization. What is Globalization? How do global realities affect our local life? This is a discussion of global realities from the perspective of local people. This is also the context of our peacebuilding task among the various social-political groups in our country.
- Enlisting Peacebuilding Volunteers. Learn the process of prospecting, qualifying, training, and developing volunteers for peacebuilding. Test yourself how you’ll fit as a member of a Peace and Reconciliation Team.
- Organizing Peace and Reconciliation Teams. How do we share the vision of peacebuilding with others? Is your community or organization ready to launch a Peace and Reconciliation Team? What are the mission objectives of a Peace and Reconciliation Team? How do we inspire and challenge others with this mission?
- Communicating Cross-Culturally. The Philippines is a multi-cultural country. How do we communicate the Culture of Peace across these cultures? How does cross-cultural communication contribute to peacebuilding?
- Armed-Conflict Area Survival Training. This is an outdoor experience. Participants will be exposed to a simulated armed-conflict situation and will be taught how to react with clarity of mind and discipline.
- Fundamentals of Trauma Healing. Understand the basic concepts of trauma and trauma healing. After a lecture presentation, you will be exposed to true-to-life case studies to apply the principles you’ve learned.
- Volunteer Evaluation. This is a tested tool to assess the ability of a volunteer-candidate to effectively do the task of peace and reconciliation in the context of Philippine realities. This will also provide leaders with additional tools to be active in multiplying peacebuilding workers.
PeaceBuilders Community is offering this course to ministerial fellowships or associations in every city or municipality in the Philippines. To book a seminar in your area, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message in the reply box below.